Tag / Seasonal

Baking Christmas Recipe

Festive Sausage Rolls

I think everyone that I know loves sausage rolls, especially at parties. I make a batch of rolls quite often and keep them in my freezer, so I always have something handy in a party emergency! I use ready rolled shop bought puff pastry as it works very well and is easy and cheap to buy. I buy the one without butter so it can work for vegans too. 

If you want vegan rolls, I use Richmond’s meat-free sausages for the filling and add my own seasoning in the same way as I do use pork sausages. I also seal and glaze them with soya milk. 

I like to jazz up my filling by adding a few spices or fresh herbs. At Christmas time I put a little cranberry sauce in the mixture to add some festive flavours. Sausage rolls are so versatile so get inventive and come up with your own ideas. 


    • One pack ready to roll puff pastry 
    • One beaten egg 
    • One pack of pork/meat-free sausages 
    • Handful finely chopped fresh parsley 
    • 1 Tbs cranberry sauce 
    • 1 tsp garlic puree 
    • Salt and pepper


    Unroll the pastry and cut it into half along the long side.

    Squeeze the sausages out of the skins and place in a bowl. Mix in the other ingredients and then lay the mixture along the middle of each length of pastry. 

    Brush the pastry with beaten egg and then roll the pastry over the filling and seal the edges well. I use a fork to press the seam together to seal.

    Slice into the size rolls you prefer, snip the top of each roll with scissors or slash with a sharp knife.

    Brush well with egg and then bake in a 200c oven for about twenty minutes or until puffed up and golden.  


    Green Tomato Chutney Recipe

    I got a call from my Uncle Graham this morning asking me if I could use a few green tomatoes which were left over from his summer tomato crop. Well, in actual fact, I had never done anything with green tomatoes before but not wanting to turn down his offer I said “Of course, that’s fab Uncle” and popped around the corner to collect them. (We live like a dozen houses from each other).

    The only recollection I had of green toms was when I was a kid, my dad was always trying to ripen them, either in a drawer in the dresser or on a sunny windowsill, they never turned as far as I can recall.

    When in doubt in these situations, I call upon chutney. My family will tell you, should you bother to ask, I am a bit of a condiment queen. When I was a kid the best thing about mam’s salad on Sunday tea was the Heinz Salad Cream.

    Chutney is a big fave of mine, so I made some, took about half an hour to cook down and Bob’s your uncle. (I don’t have an uncle called Bob, but my kids do)!


    175g Brown Sugar
    150ml White Wine Vinegar
    1 Onion (finely chopped)
    1 Cooking Apple (finely chopped)
    125g Sultanas
    500g Green Tomatoes
    1 tsp Chilli Flakes
    1 tsp Ginger Powder
    1 tbs Garlic Puree

    N.B. I used dried spices and a tube of garlic puree as that’s what I had in the larder, but fresh would be fine of course.


    1. In a frying pan, dissolve the sugar in the vinegar under a low heat
    2. Throw all the ingredients in and bubble down until they form a sticky, chutney consistency
    3. Bingo! Done. Pop into sterilised jars (2 x 500g)

    Great with cold meats and cheeses, bang it on the Buffet Table!

    Baking Christmas

    Christmas Cake Recipe

    It is here once again, we are into November and it is time to get the big mixing bowls out for the Christmas Cake.

    I know that not everyone is a fan, but I am! It’s a tradition to make at least one cake. My mam used to make a round one; royal icing peaked to make look like snow, a ruffled frill around it and plastic decorations: Father Christmas, robins, a snowman, and a Merry Xmas greeting.

    I don’t bother with fancy pants stuff,  I just go with tradition. Mam also made two Christmas Cake loaves. My fondest memories of Christmas Eve are having a slice with some cheese and a little sip of cream sherry.

    When I am doing the final stir up I get my husband and girls to take turns stirring and make a wish. (If they’re away from home they do it telepathically, I text them when to make the wish and I stir for them).

    Here we go, this makes a big cake, like ten inches and tall. If you want to adjust to make smaller give me a toot and I will send quantities.


    450g Sultanas
    450g Currants
    450g Raisins
    150g Chopped Prunes or Dates
    100g Glace Cherries
    100g Candied Peel
    6 Tbs Brandy
    450g Plain Flour
    A large pinch of Salt
    1 Tsp Cinnamon
    2 Tsp Mixed Spice
    2 Tbs Cocoa Powder
    450g Unsalted Butter
    450g Dark Brown Sugar
    8 Large Eggs
    100g Ground Almonds
    100g Flake Almonds


    1. Soak all the dried fruit in a bowl with the brandy the night before you bake your cake
    2. Grease a 10inch springform tin and line with baking parchment
    3. Preheat the oven to 150 or fan 140
    4. Sift together the flour, spices cocoa and salt
    5. Whisk the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
    6. Beat the eggs in a jug and beat in to the sugar and butter gradually
    7. With a large spoon, mix in the flour/spice mix and fruit together
    8. Make a wish
    9. Spoon into the cake tin and level the top
    10. Using newspaper or brown paper and string protect the outside of the tin
    11. Bake for about 3 and a half hours, or until a skewer come out clean
    12. Leave to cool in the tin then wrap in foil and store in a cool place
    13. Feed the cake with brandy every week until it is time to decorate (liberally spoon brandy onto the cake)